Bandai Namco has announced they will be halting all their overseas development efforts because they failed completely.

Bandai Namco’s CEO states that their use of overseas developers was supposed to “appeal to Americans” but that “in the end it was all no good.”

The strategy they say they adopted was to have their Japanese head office analyse suggestions from their foreign developers, and then have the foreigners “do only the titles which should work [for Americans].”

Unfortunately, this only resulted in a variety of titles which crudely aped the most successful western blockbusters without any real success.

Namco seems finally to have realised this was a flawed strategy: “For a game to really sell, whether in Japan, America, or Europe, if the head office doesn’t think it’s fun it’s impossible.”

The astonishing revelation that games have to be fun to sell well has lead them to change strategy – “We’ll be stopping all overseas development. It’s mostly stopped already.”

Square Enix also reported similar failures – in their case the solution appears to have just been to buy a successful foreign studio outright.

The move of course should have no bearing on their decision (or more likely, non-decision) to localise certain titles developed in Japan for overseas markets.

Bandai Namco has announced a long term goal of having 50% of their sales in overseas markets, up from 23% at present; unfortunately, at present it seems Japanese and western gamers have very different tastes and can only be persuaded to buy the same games in a limited number of genres.

As Japanese developers have not generally been very successful at producing games solely for western audiences, Namco’s decision to focus solely on using domestic developers may prove rather problematic in light of this goal.

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    Avatar of Shimazaki
    Comment by Shimazaki
    05:32 16/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    What about bayonetta, what about vanquish......metal gear solid........... good japanese game that craved deep into amerian audience.

    When a game is good enough, is good enough, it doen't matter if it has "anime character" stuff, when something is good is good.

    I guess namco/bandai, jus are to lazy to try to innovate into new ways to conquer the american market.

    They gave up, because they jus whant to do the same lame stuff over and over again and have profits for practically no efort in bringin new ways of entertaiment (soul calibuir on PSP, whit no arcade mode.....come on, it was doomed before start)

    On top of that, as other says, if the keep their good dems only in japan, how the hell they think to sell something that is not good enogh. bring the gundam franshise, give the tales saga.....

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Excellent post. Not all American game development studios are power house with the best programmers, artists, designers and what's not. Something that Japanese publishers failed to grasp, there was no need to have Double Helix develop Front Mission Evolved. That's something the Japanese could have done perfectly by themselves, with well written characters and script, instead of the god awful acting that was present through the 5 painful hours it took me to beat the game.

    On the other hand, Dead Rising 2 was a success on so many levels despite being developed by an American team.

    Also, people can bitch about how Americans want their macho man, and the Japanese wants their biebers and bieberrete, but fact is, majority of American gamers are adults, games like Oblivion and Fallout will be more successful than FF not because of the lack little tweens and their giant swords, but because of getting more for the game value than one can get from a japanese RPG (mods, sandbox gameplay).

    Of course, the american-culture references help, but then again, the Russian-made Stalker series and the turkish-made Mount&Blade series are popular too, not because of a game designed for americans, these are games designed for gamers.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    11:49 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Front Mission Evolved could of done better the problem is they were trying to go low budget on making HD games less costly. That's kind of the issue with many Japanese Game Developers is making games on a HD console system.

    The cost of making a game and the time they put into making it, in good quality.They find out its not selling well in the US and other countrys and its a big slap in the face to them that's why you see many go to the Hand-Held Market which is cheaper to make games on DS and PSP they profit 75% of the time on PSP and DS mostly because Japanese are working and on the move every day.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:15 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Interesting you say that, because I actually get more out of a JRPG than I ever did with games like Oblivion and Fallout. Those worlds didn't feel as alive to me as, say, Persona 4 did.

    But then I realize that different gamers are attracted to different game elements. There are gamers who love stats, those who love fighting, those who love graphics and special effects. I, for one, love story and character. And if I feel that I'm just moving a soulless puppet around, someone with which I feel no connection, it can negatively affect my gaming experience.

    Avatar of Ciscotaku
    Comment by Ciscotaku
    05:19 16/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    release the full version tales of vesperia and you'll get some sales.

    Avatar of Indofag
    Comment by Indofag
    05:33 16/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Don't forget the Idolmaster.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    05:29 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It honestly is this simple... I'm usually nervous to say such things as so 'certain' but in this case it really, really is that simple. And the other games being localized. They may not turn a huuuuge profit, but they will make them more money without question. Localization costs are minimal compared to creation costs.

    Either way, I think I may have an inkling of what happened... it's rather common for the last 10 years for new studios to contract movie games in order to give themselves a starting point. Usually it's because they are starting from investment only, but this is a situation where they were funded by the home office it seems. So it may have been that the logic was the same, for a situation that wasn't. This is speculation though, but it really is sad. Clash of the Titans is a true classic story, it's just a shame it came at such a time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:34 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same here man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:41 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    how about ALL tales games? like the NDS ones as well? (Tales of Hearts is enough. Innocence has a great Fantranslation. lol)

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:08 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    On a more happy note.

    Who was the little fuck that asked Bamco to "develop games for international markets overseas"?

    I sure as hell never asked them to change their games to appeal to western audiences. Just translate them, for fucks sake!

    Avatar of Guangyu Zhao
    Comment by Guangyu Zhao
    05:51 16/12/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I want tales of vesperia and tales of graces F! Why don't they release it here?

    Avatar of Rehceel
    Comment by Rehceel
    05:55 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Because they're friggin' morons. We're not going to get anything else. Tales of Vesperia was the most likely the last one.

    Avatar of Ashlynd
    Comment by Ashlynd
    07:43 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    No shit! They only release crap to us, all their good games are in JAPAN. >.< What a bunch of jerks :c

    Avatar of GuroFX
    Comment by GuroFX
    05:55 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Stop making games, releasing manga and anime, developing electronics and other sh*t. Just rot on your funny little island... a**holes T_T

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:31 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I don't care if they don't want to use foreign developers or ideas...just give me my Tales of Graces F for PS3 in english and is all good...also get the Idolmaster 2 in the PSP...the fagbox version is region locked.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:33 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If they translated their good games to English instead of pumping out crap ones this wouldn't happen!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:42 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Exactly, all they need to do is make a good fun game. Nine times out of ten it will sell regardless of the market. I'm tired of hearing that America will only play games that has dudes with giant muscles and chicks with huge boobs. It is patently false. The reason God of War and the like did well is because they were fun, not because the guys were some muscle bound stereotype. The opposite is also true, there are many failures that feature the muscle bound dudes as well. They fail because they sucked and were boring. The Final Fantasy series used to do amazingly well in the U.S. and it didn't feature those stereotypes. When did Final Fantasy start to perform poorly? As soon as the gameplay went to utter shit, that's when.

    TLDR: Make a good game and people will buy it.

    Avatar of Indofag
    Comment by Indofag
    05:29 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    No translation Tales of Vesperia.
    No translation Tales of Graces (F).
    No translation Tales of Xillia.

    Great, just great. Unlike NIS, Bandai-Namco simply can't afford to take huge risks by bringing their JRPGs to English-speaking community. Which is why they sucks.

    Good games, sucky company indeed. Well, I have high hopes for the fan translation of Tales of Graces (F) though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:07 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did they crack the PS3's filesystem so that they can make runnable images yet?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:47 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    As long as Taki looks like that in the next installation of Soul Calibur, I don't care. All I care about is DAT ASS!!

    Avatar of Lamberto
    Comment by Lamberto
    05:54 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your left or right hand must love you.

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    06:04 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or maybe both!

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    06:09 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Double entendre

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:23 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    07:23 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    double hairy palm

    Avatar of Crazy_O
    Comment by Crazy_O
    11:10 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    well namco bandai... add english subtitles to every game you make, wouldnt cost much would it? even if you dont officially release the game in the US or Europe you would get a boost in sales which would easily bring in the cost of a localization. you hear me? only subtitles no english voice over is needed.

    and if it runs well enough look for a publisher and be done with it.

    japanese developers, do what you do best and add subtitles. at least try it.. but we surely dont need more western games, we do fine with the ones we make.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:58 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Huh? So instead of simply changing their tactic and bring those games over regardless...they stop bringing ANYTHING over?

    What did i just read? It completely fucked up my sense of reason!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:34 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    that's only because they release their CRAPPYASS GAMES!! over here!!! They never release their good shit, no wonder we aint buying. it aint hard to figure out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:46 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This. Where the hell is my Gundam vs Gundam in inglesh?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:35 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Why does "overseas" always have to mean America? Here's an idea...TRY RELEASING IN EUROPE FIRST!!! Better voice acting, and people here can actually READ SUBTITLES so don't need that horrible dubbing to understand what people say.

    Without that need for compensating for something lacking, games don't need to start over there...Hell, Silent Hill did great and it started in the UK xD

    Here's a hint Bandai/Namco - real gamers like real games. The "American audience" (I generalise to the idea that "Americans" are idiots and need everything explaining according to the idiots in charge) are not the ones who actually buy or play your games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:03 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Plus I bought several Tales games games and I like them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:01 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course, Some americans do have games with the Namco brand in their homes.

    Seriously this kind of stereotype sucks and makes a citizen of that country look bad.

    Besides that, they have to remember its more than just america that their games can be released too, there's plenty of countries so why not release their games over to those countries too. Then see for themselves that it's possible to get fans from all over the world.

    I'm American and I'm saying this with my own computer skills. I do have taste in video games, but most of them involve action adventure, rpgs, and several other genre, but I play FPS less. Just saying.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:12 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Instead of trying to make games that they believe Americans would like (basically copying our games), they should concentrate on steering Americans towards THEIR games. They would have an immediate audience with anime/manga fans and could expand to the mainstream gamers from there.

    Comment by 666
    05:22 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Another epic fail. Glorious, Indeed. (~)_(~)

    Avatar of grgpsunk
    Comment by grgpsunk
    06:31 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Wow, the company finally realized that they can't just outsource everything and actually have to put forth some of their own effort to sell a game here?

    Dumbasses. When will these Japanese game companies learn that if they want to engage in globalization, they have to SPECIALIZE in what they do best and sell it to the world, rather than try to imitate what other fucking companies already have years of experience in producing?

    There's plenty of good games they've never released outside of Japan. So what if their games don't seem to have a "western appeal"? Why not make up for it with increased marketing? I mean, how often do you see TV ads for Japanese games that aren't released by Nintendo? Why don't they just embrace the fact that their games are "Japanese" and take advantage of that perceived exoticism associated with "Japanese" games as a means of marketing them to a non-Japanese audience?

    Konami seems to be the only major Japanese game company that actually gets it. Take a look at what they said in its showcase of MGS:Rising at E3 this year--They specifically said that while they would like to sell their games to a western audience, as a Japanese company themselves, they must be able to offer something that couldn't be just as easily imitated by a western company; something only a Japanese company could offer.

    I swear, man. These idiots are the primary reason why we never see the good stuff released here.

    Avatar of Firetribe
    Comment by Firetribe
    07:23 17/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This comment says it all.

    Avatar of meiling
    Comment by meiling
    09:06 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Release Idol Master over here and they will get that 50% mark very quickly!!

    Avatar of scsa20
    Comment by scsa20
    06:17 16/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    More T&A, less "men with a 6-pack and guns" is what I say.

    As an American liking all forms of games and style makes me sad when I hear about a game that I'm really interested in only to find out the company of the sad game is A) making it a Japanese released only (common), B) releasing it with the story aspect changed to "fit Americans style", C) Changed the art style completely to, once again, "fix Americans style", D) the game (mainly with RPGs) is only available in the West in English only (and we all know how awful English voice actors are about 90% of the time) or E) A mixture of above.

    There's a lot of games that's out in Japan that I would just love to play and if I could read and understand Japanese then god dammit I would get them imported but since I can't understand Japanese to play most of said games I'm stuck with whatever they do decide to localized and just pray that they didn't fuck it up. Only games that I could play imported would be games like Project Diva and Initial D since I just need to figure out how to get through the menus and once I figured that out everything else is cake walk.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Namco has a terrible business strategy for the west because not once have they made the right business move

    ToV? Oh lets take Microsoft's money to push it out sooner for the US release on a console that has a small number of RPG lovers and then we should improve the game for the PS3 and not bring it over to the west because they have a larger RPG loving group.

    Idol Masters PSP for the west? Oh we'll put an Idol Masters item machine in Playstation Home for the people who bought the PSP idolmasters, but they have to import the game because we sure as shit aren't going to bring the game to the west.

    People like Idol Masters for 360 in the west? Well we will still push out games. If they like it so much they I'm sure they will buy a japanese 360 for it HEHEHEHEHEHE

    Really they need to fire the people coming up with these business strategies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:16 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. I love IM@S but fuck them for region locking it. Why would you do that?! WHY?! All it's doing is denying some extra sales. ONE LITTLE SETTING IS COSTING THEM MONEY. What a bunch of fucking retards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:43 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    So will not see more good Japanese kick ass anime/style games but more shit loads of USA Patriotism where USA save the world again common Im bored of USA thinking they are the best in the world sense the wheel. Give me more good games with fantasy and good story and game play and not games with super graphics and USA saves the world again shit games. one example of that typ of game Call of duty and command and conquer. And todays kids are sp damn spoiled all there is about is graphics graphics graphics graphics and no damn game play and story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:29 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    i guess this means im gonna have to learn some japanese if i ever want to play any more tales games

    :'( damn it namco

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:54 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They're fucking idiots. They hardly make an effort and then pack it all in because it didn't go well.

    When ToV was released in the UK there was no advertising at all. The store I went to had one copy, which I bought, and hasn't had a single one in since. Not that I know of anyway. I'm not surprised it all went tits up.

    Avatar of Hyra911
    Comment by Hyra911
    22:19 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Those guys way too stupid and irresponsible, I wonder how long the workers of those companies continue to suffer because the idiocy of their boss.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:01 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Haven't companies learned anything from Nintendo? Remember back the late 90s when the big N wanted to localize the Pokémon games? NOA thought that they had to change all characters to better attract the western audiences but Tsukenaz Ishihara (talk about irony with the latest news...) rejected the idea. And thus, Pocket Monsters came to the west as simply Pokémon and proven to be a long-term success.

    Basically, all we ask companies to come up with are original games that are indeed good. It's guaranteed that it'll be a huge success.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:27 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You shall always make a game that YOU like.
    That way it attracts your kind of fanbase.

    I love Metal Gear because I just... well like to plot and characters and because Hideo can make a good game even though it's limited on it's hardware or limited due to cultural hinders but Metal Gear has always been good for me (part from AC!D and MGS:TS).

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Metal Gear ACID 2 was a good game, the story mode just needed more missions

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:01 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You DESERVE to fail! We want Tales, you stupid asses!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Here's a hint, Japan: Originality. It was successful at some point. Might wanna try that again.

    Oh, and inb4 downvoting and comments going, "right bcuz leik westenres r so god at maeking orginial gmaes right hurr durr", here's to you: I never said that western game developers are incredibly original. So shut up and sit down.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 16/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I buy games from a Japanese company because I want Japanese style games. This explains why most of the titles the company has released domestically in the past few years have sucked.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 17/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    QFT: "I buy Japanese games, because I want Japanese styled games". It's like, if I buy food from a Chinese restaurant, I want it to be Chinese food and not hamburgers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:57 17/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Abso-fucking-lutely, thank you.

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